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Odesa Port-Side Plant again stops operating – first deputy director

KYIV. Sept 20 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Board of the Odesa Port-Side Plant on September 18 made a decision to shut down the plant, which was idle from the end of April 2018 to August 2019 last time, First Deputy Director of the enterprise Mykola Schurikov said on Facebook at the weekend.

"The order refers to a letter from Odesagaz, in which the plant is proposed to suspend operations on September 22 due to the existing debt for the distribution of natural gas," Schurikov said.

He said that the management of the Odesa Port-Side Plant refuses attempts to negotiate with Odesagaz, and also three times ignored the proposals of the supplier of raw materials – Agro Gas Trading LLC (AGT) – to join these negotiations.

Schurikov said that today, the production of urea is unprofitable due to the high price of gas and low prices for urea and ammonia, but he considers the main reason for the current situation to be an opaque tender for the selection of a new supplier.

"Based on the results of the last obviously rigged, non-transparent tender, Singapore’s Dachex [Dachex Shipping Pte. Ltd] with 100% Russian founders and capital was selected. The agreement with this company has not been finalized," the first deputy director of the enterprise, which has long been in conflict with the State Property Fund (SPF) representing the majority state, said.

Schurikov also said that the existing technical state of the plant is the worst in recent years.

"But I hope that now, when there is nothing to line one’s pockets with the hands, which did not take anything, there is a chance to carry out privatization," the first deputy director said.

He called for reshuffling the management of the enterprise and overhauling the units on which the production process depends and either leave AGT as the supplier, or choose a new supplier from among the companies producing gas, or operators working with large volumes of gas and having long-term contracts for its supply.

PJSC Odesa Port-Side Plant produces chemical products, and is also engaged in the transshipment of chemical products to sea transport. The state, represented by the SPF, owns 99.5667% of shares in the plant, Concorde Capital LLC 0.0021%, other shareholders-individuals 0.4312%.

The main raw material for the enterprise is natural gas, the price of which has soared recently to record-high levels.